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Thread: TPG: Week 40- John Lees

  1. BarriLang Guest

    1: Airplane RAWKS!!!

    2: My bitter sweet was that I didn't like Artie (bitter) but the story made me want to know what happened (sweet) I wanted to know what the 'eff got him to the strip club there and where he was going after. Job done on your part.

    It's like "Wanted" . I couldn't stand the premise at 1st. Whiney nonce finds out that he's good at killing and more importantly can do it without consequence so goes on a rampage. Now I'm not a prude but to me there has to be somekinda consequence. I stuck with it and the story picked up and gave me other things to focus on other than just Wesley so it grew on me.

    I don't like Artie. But the premise made me... not care about him, but intrigued to know what happened.


    DANG! I see you already saw my 2 pence worth and got where I was coming from! Bugger... ignore this as more of the same
    Last edited by BarriLang; Monday, October 26, 2009 at 06:00 PM. Reason: DANG!



  2. JohnLees Guest

    No, thanks all the same Barri for further illuminating your point. You expressed what I was getting at in a way I couldn't quite find the words for in my reply. Namely that, at this stage, I was more concerned with people liking the premise than liking Artie (though of course if people grow to like Artie too that would be nice), so I'm glad that you want to see what happens next.



  3. drgerb Guest

    Don't try to get me inside Artie’s head and make me identify with him. Don't make me feel sorry for Artie because he's lonely. Don't make me say, "Aww," with a halo around Rita (when you could have done the angelic glow around her ass instead). Make the reader point at Artie and laugh, and say, "Look at that pathetic loser! Ha! Hairy man ass! More flying body parts! Whoo Hoo!"
    I'm gonna say straight up, I'm in the minority. I like Artie as a character and I (as maybe some other comic book readers can) relate to him atleast on one level.. And inserting more humor, in my opinion, might even make the reader enjoy him even more. I'm assuming he's a villain. You can't have your reader like your villain more than the hero, or something will fall on it's head. I'm sure you're much farther along on this story than what we've all read and I figure you know what you're doing... But as I said, I might be the only one here who actually cares for Artie. And if he IS your villain, you've already got me caring more for your villain than for your hero or the guy/s trying to stop the villain.

    Maybe I'm totally off pace here, I dunno. But hell, to bring up another movie refernce:

    The Dark Knight; I enjoyed the Joker more than Batman. And if the writer / director woulda made the Joker even that much more likeable, more comedic, more meaningful, then who knows what the general public woulda thought. Right now it's easy to say, hey, Batman fights for what's right, he saves people, the Joker tries to kill innocent people. Then I look at the point where the Joker was burning the piles of money, saying that's all we're after, that's all we care about as a society, then I glance at rich boy Batman driving a ferrari and swooning over the girl he'll never have... And I start to wonder, who's the hero here?

    Do that a bit *too* much and either (if done well) you'll have a GREAT hit on your hands, or (98% of the rest of the time) you'll fail miserably. :/

    Again, maybe I'm totally off. Just don't make Artie TOO likeable or comedic for your hero's sake.



  4. JohnLees Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by drgerb View Post
    I'm gonna say straight up, I'm in the minority. I like Artie as a character and I (as maybe some other comic book readers can) relate to him atleast on one level.. And inserting more humor, in my opinion, might even make the reader enjoy him even more. I'm assuming he's a villain. You can't have your reader like your villain more than the hero, or something will fall on it's head. I'm sure you're much farther along on this story than what we've all read and I figure you know what you're doing... But as I said, I might be the only one here who actually cares for Artie. And if he IS your villain, you've already got me caring more for your villain than for your hero or the guy/s trying to stop the villain.

    Maybe I'm totally off pace here, I dunno. But hell, to bring up another movie refernce:

    The Dark Knight; I enjoyed the Joker more than Batman. And if the writer / director woulda made the Joker even that much more likeable, more comedic, more meaningful, then who knows what the general public woulda thought. Right now it's easy to say, hey, Batman fights for what's right, he saves people, the Joker tries to kill innocent people. Then I look at the point where the Joker was burning the piles of money, saying that's all we're after, that's all we care about as a society, then I glance at rich boy Batman driving a ferrari and swooning over the girl he'll never have... And I start to wonder, who's the hero here?

    Do that a bit *too* much and either (if done well) you'll have a GREAT hit on your hands, or (98% of the rest of the time) you'll fail miserably. :/

    Again, maybe I'm totally off. Just don't make Artie TOO likeable or comedic for your hero's sake.
    He's actually the hero of the story. So if people think he's a villain maybe I have botched his introduction spectacularly!



  5. BarriLang Guest

    But he's EASILLY a possible hero. I'm sure you'll fix it. Probably the dcapitations and mass murder has thrown us. When the full pic's revealed I'm sure it'll be easier to spot.



  6. JohnLees Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by BarriLang View Post
    But he's EASILLY a possible hero. I'm sure you'll fix it. Probably the dcapitations and mass murder has thrown us. When the full pic's revealed I'm sure it'll be easier to spot.
    Yeah, I can see how that would throw people. Being from Glasgow, most of my positive role models are heavily involved in decapitations and mass murder, so it can get a bit confusing....



  7. CalvinCamp Guest

    As such, I think it's a bit of a defeatist stance to take to say "since I think the end is crap, you should just make it all crap right from the beginning and remove any of the things I thought were more effective, so as not to give people false expectations this is anything but crap." It's very much a note from the perspective of an editor who already dislikes the story as a whole, and as such is merely an exercise in damage control after the battle is already lost - the flipside to Steve's point of how the battle is half won if you have an editor who LIKES the story from the outset.
    You're putting words in my mouth there, John. That's not what I said, or what I meant. Just because something uses silly, juvenile humor doesn't mean it's crap. I'm not suggesting that you make your story more crappy. I'm just suggesting that you make it more consistent in tone. That only means making it more crappy, if you think the ending is crap.

    Even though it's not my favorite thing, I can get behind juvenile humor (up to a point) if I go in with that expectation. That's why I suggested that leading with the juvenile humor, and sticking with it, might encourage that expectation at the start, rather than having it come as a surprise 5 pages in. It's not about whether it's crap or not, it's about the expectations you lead with and the consistency of tone.

    The stuff I initially said was more effective, and later suggested you remove, was because I felt they were more effective for a different type of story than the one you say you're trying to tell. That makes them less effective for the story you want. Just because something is good for one thing, doesn't mean it's good for another.

    You use the movie analogy of expecting Shaun of the Dead but getting Scary Movie 3, but to use a similar movie analogy for your thought process here....now, I'm not saying my script is anywhere near this level, but it's like saying that Airplane! fails as a film because Dr. Rumack isn't a nuanced protagonist or because McCroskey's drug habit wasn't dealt with sensitively enough, then concluding that if they wanted to be stupid they should have removed the great one-liners and just had people falling over for 2 hours.
    I think where my comparison is bothering you is that you're assuming I consider Scary Movie 3 a failure. I enjoyed Scary Movie 3 (I enjoyed the whole series). It wasn't my favorite movie by any stretch, or even on my DVD purchase list, but it made it very clear from the start exactly what kind of movie it was, and that allowed me to appreciate it for what it was. In that sense, it was very much a success.

    Likewise, Airplane shouldn't have been anything but what it was. But it also wouldn't have been anywhere near as good as it was, if it didn't have a consistent tone from beginning to end. The reason I'm making the comparison is to try and get across that I don't think your story did that. It started as one thing, which gave me a certain expectation, and then kicked me on my ear when it turned into something else. But, like I said, that surprise may also have been intentional on your part - that's not something I can know. All I can do is point out that it's there.

    I'm just throwing thoughts out in the hope they'll help. But since the thoughts I'm throwing out don't seem to be doing any good at this point, I'll leave it alone from here. I just wanted to clarify my meaning, since it seemed to have come across wrong before.



  8. jamesfairlie Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by madelf View Post
    That's why I suggested that leading with the juvenile humor, and sticking with it, might encourage that expectation at the start, rather than having it come as a surprise 5 pages in.
    I'm not entirely sure I understand your point here. What is it about comparing a man eating his own testicles to Don Corleone that you don't find juvenile? :-p

    In an earlier draft of the script I think John had the dismembered head shouting "**** this" as it flew out of the window, do you think that would help?



  9. JohnLees Guest

    Ah, I get what you're saying now. I thought what you meant was that you felt cheated that after the set-up of the first couple of pages, everything fell apart in the last couple of pages, and so you'd rather it was consistently bad throughout rather than aspiring to be anything more. I thought it was a flawed perspective, as it was based on the assumption that those last couple of pages were inarguably bad, and that saying the "good bits" needed to be removed to fall in line with the general trashiness was more of a personal judgement call than objective editing.

    But with this explanation you've provided I now see it was more an issue of consistency of tone and genre, rather than consistency of quality. My apologies for misreading.



  10. CalvinCamp Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnLees View Post
    Ah, I get what you're saying now.
    Ah, good!

    No apology is necessary, but I'm glad we got that sorted out.



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